Dejan Lazić: The concept behind our present undertaking, the Mozart Piano Concertos CD-trilogy, is to bring together concertos of Mozart’s miscellaneous composing and performing periods, styles, techniques, and instrumentations side by side, thus to deeply examine and throughout his travels more closely explore his many creative phases within this genre. That is linked further with an encore-like single work on each CD, yet the additional connecting link between these initially planned six piano concertos is the Cadenzas & Lead-ins which I have composed myself.
Me and conductor de Vriend, partnering here together with the wonderful Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra, we took a great care of the needs of Mozart’s music that was of course written for an instrument with a different timbre and dynamic range than the modern concert grand, thus carefully balancing the methods of playing: voicing, phrasing, articulation, rhetoric, and dynamics during solo, accompanied solo and tutti.
Dejan Lazić’s fresh interpretations of the repertoire have established him as one of the most unique and unusual soloists of his generation. The Spiegel magazine noted of his Liszt recording for Onyx Classics: “Grandiose technique, dedicated and witty, whilst full-bodied and thoughtful: this longitudinal section through Liszt’s oeuvre is a gift, both for beginners and connoisseurs.” Dejan Lazić has previously released many recordings with Channel Classics, including a critically acclaimed Liaisons series; the latest of which couples together C. P. E. Bach and Britten. In autumn 2017 he performed on tour and recorded Beethoven’s own arrangement of his Violin Concerto as Piano Concerto in D major, Op. 61a, with Netherlands Chamber Orchestra and Gordan Nikolić. This CD was released in May 2018 by Onyx Classics. His live recording of Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with London Philharmonic Orchestra and Kirill Petrenko received the German “ECHO Klassik Award” in 2009. A recording of the Beethoven Triple Concerto was released for Sony Music in 2015. His recording with Mozart’s chamber music, released by Onyx in 2020 was awarded with the prestigious “OPUS Klassik 2021” in the category “Chamber Music Recording”.
Dejan Lazić regularly plays with orchestras such as the Atlanta Symphony, Australian Chamber Orchestra, Boston Symphony, Budapest Festival Orchestra, Basel Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Danish National Symphony, Helsinki Philharmonic, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra Hamburg, Netherlands Philharmonic, Rotterdam Philharmonic, and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra. He enjoys a significant following in the Far East touring China with Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer, and appearing with NHK Symphony and Yomiuri Nippon, as well as Seoul and Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestras. He has built close collaborations with conductors including Giovanni Antonini, Iván Fischer, Michael Francis, Andris Nelsons, Ivan Repušić, Thomas Søndergård, Robert Spano, John Storgårds, Krzysztof Urbański, Jan Willem de Vriend, and Kazuki Yamada. In addition, he increasingly leads and conducts orchestras himself.
In the 2021/2022 season Dejan Lazić is Artist in Residence of the Bavarian Radio’s Münchner Rundfunkorchester and he undertakes a tour with the Budapest Festival Orchestra and Iván Fischer. In 2022 and 2023 he is also debuting with Dresden, Stuttgart, Bergen, and Slovak Philharmonic Orchestras, as well as with Orchestra della Svizzera italiana. Recitals take him regularly to venues such as the Teatro Colón (Buenos Aires), Lincoln Center (New York), Melbourne Recital Centre, Forbidden City Recital Hall (Beijing), and to various European music centres and festivals. In the summer of 2022 he will appear anew at the Gstaad Menuhin Festival: in a recital and a chamber music concert with Sol Gabetta (violoncello) and Andreas Ottensamer (clarinet) where also his latest composition “Kaleidoscope” for clarinet, violoncello and piano will be premiered. Other chamber music partners include violinists Joshua Bell and Benjamin Schmid (a. o.).
Dejan Lazić’s compositions receive increased recognition, he was signed as a composer by the Sikorski Music Publishing Group in 2015. His arrangement of Brahms’ Violin Concerto as a piano concerto was premiered and recorded with Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and Robert Spano in 2009 and has enjoyed much ongoing success, at BBC Proms, Concertgebouw Amsterdam, Hamburg Easter Festival, Chopin Festival Warsaw, in both Americas and in Japan. Lazić has performed his “Piano Concerto in Istrian Style”, Op. 18, many times since its premiere at the Aspen Music Festival in 2014. His first major orchestral work, a tone poem entitled “Mozart and Salieri” (after Alexander Pushkin), Op. 21, was commissioned and premiered by Indianapolis Symphony and Krzysztof Urbański; his Cadenzas for 6 Mozart Piano Concertos, Beethoven’s Piano Concertos Nos. 1 – 4, and Haydn Piano Concertos Nos. 4 & 11 were recently published by Sikorski as well.
Lazić’s most recent Mozart arrangement, “Rondo Concertante” for piano and orchestra (after the 3rd movement from Mozart’s Piano Sonata in B-flat major, K. 333) was premiered in June 2018 at the “Mainly Mozart” Festival in San Diego, USA, with the Mainly Mozart Festival Orchestra conducted by Michael Francis. With four fellow composers Lazić composed the work “Der Forellenteich” (“The Trout Pond”), which was premiered and released on CD in October 2018 and subsequently performed at various festivals in Germany. His “S.C.H.E.rzo” for Orchestra, Op. 25, commissioned by the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra was premiered with conductor Krzysztof Urbański on 17 January 2020. He is currently working on his “Chinese Fantasy” for violin and orchestra, Op. 22.
Dejan Lazić was born in Zagreb, Croatia, into a family of musicians. He grew up in Salzburg, where he studied at the Mozarteum (clarinet, piano and composition). The early encounter with Zoltán Kocsis and Imre Rohmann at the Bartók Festival in Hungary was decisive for his artistic career, as well as the significant influence from Peter Eötvös. Dejan Lazić lives in Amsterdam.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, whose actual name is Joannes Chrysotomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a composer, pianist, violinist and conductor from the classical period, born in Salzburg. Mozart was a child prodigy. Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and performed before European royalty. Along with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven, Mozart is considered to be one of the most influential composers of all of music's history. Within the classical tradition, he was able to develop new musical concepts which left an everlasting impression on all the composers that came after him. Together with Joseph Haydn and Ludwig van Beethoven he is part of the First Viennese School. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at the Salzburg court, but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position. From 1763 he traveled with his family through all of Europe for three years and from 1769 he traveled to Italy and France with his father Leopold after which he took residence in Paris. On July 3rd, 1778, his mother passed away and after a short stay in Munich with the Weber family, his father urged him to return to Salzburg, where he was once again hired by the Bishop. While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security. During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was largely unfinished at the time of his death.